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Experienced Mom Says: A Family Membership to A Science Museum Has Surprisingly Best Value

Updated on October 31, 2014
An Optical Illusion at Exploratorium
An Optical Illusion at Exploratorium | Source

When you think about visiting a city with your family, the first thing you think about are the attractions and sightseeing. When you have small children, you also want the trips to be educational. My children love the interactive activities at a science museum. What parents do not know is that individual admissions add up. However, very few parents know that the science museums have a great reciprocity system where one's membership to a museum is tremendously affordable.The only condition is that the museum must be 90 miles from where you live. Since we live in Los Angeles, we decided to look for the best museum to join and take advantage of this reciprocity program.

The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

We concluded that not only do we love the Fleet Science Center, but it also has the best value. The Fleet Science Center has a subset of the interactive science exhibits of the Exploratorium but then it has two or three other exhibits and an IMAX theater. At an adult admission of $11.75 and a child admission at $9.75, it would cost us $43 for a family of four to visit and this did not include any IMAX tickets. However, with a family membership costing $84, you receive a year's admission, 8 IMAX tickets (adult price valuing $15.75 and junior price valuing $12.75). If the family went to see 2 IMAX movies, you would have to pay $114. So, the membership is practically free since the 8 free IMAX tickets are worth much more. Plus, you receive a member's discount at the gift shop.

Further, if you have never been to a real IMAX theater, a dome theater, it is worth the experience. After attending a real IMAX theater experience, I now refuse to attend an "IMAX" movie at a local theater.

Tech Museum in San Jose

Because of our Fleet Science Center membership and Tech Museum being more than 90 miles from Los Angeles, we received free admission to the Tech Museum. Thismuseum first opened in 1998, but it feels very new. Since this museum is in Silcon Valley, it is proud to have many exhibit involving computer and electronics. Most of the exhibits involves selection of different tasks and their outcomes.

When we were there, there was also a cool exhibit on different types of video games. Plus, there is also an exhibit from NASA, and we were able to sit in a machine and control its movement like an amusement ride.

Exploratorium in San Francisco

Because of our Fleet Science Center membership and the Exploratorium being more than 90 miles from Los Angeles, we received free admission to the the Exploratorium. The Exploratorium opened in 1969. It is located next to a beautiful park called Palace of Fine Arts. The museum has a large exhibit of interactive activities. My favorite exhibit was a homemade camera that takes split second photography such as a drop of water into a mug. Everything is touchable. There are optical illusions, experiments with sound and motion, and a lot of different types of activities.




Solar Panel Exhibit at Fleet Science Center
Solar Panel Exhibit at Fleet Science Center | Source
Quick Photography
Quick Photography | Source
Glass Illusion at Exploratorium
Glass Illusion at Exploratorium | Source
Geometric Puzzle
Geometric Puzzle | Source
Computer Program That Creates Patterns From Your Design
Computer Program That Creates Patterns From Your Design | Source
Chinese Knot Art
Chinese Knot Art | Source
Magnetic Fun
Magnetic Fun | Source
Beautiful Architecture at Palace of Fine Arts
Beautiful Architecture at Palace of Fine Arts | Source
Lake at Palace of Fine Arts
Lake at Palace of Fine Arts | Source
More Columns at Palace of Fine Arts
More Columns at Palace of Fine Arts | Source
A Bobsled Simulation at Tech Museum
A Bobsled Simulation at Tech Museum | Source
NASA Exhibit
NASA Exhibit | Source
Computer Acronyms
Computer Acronyms | Source
Another Quick Photography
Another Quick Photography | Source
I Loved This Exhibit.
I Loved This Exhibit. | Source
Just Another Shot
Just Another Shot | Source
Special Chemical Preventing The Bubbles From Bursting
Special Chemical Preventing The Bubbles From Bursting | Source
Light Exhibit
Light Exhibit | Source

Tech Museum

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    • formosangirl profile imageAUTHOR

      formosangirl 

      7 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thanks, Alocsin. I did not include CA Museum of Science, which is always free, but that's a great place, too.

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I used to work in a science museum and totally agree with you. I've visited all the great places you mentioned except for the tech museum in San Jose. I'll make time for that on my next trip to the Bay Area. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • formosangirl profile imageAUTHOR

      formosangirl 

      7 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thanks, Cheatlierepeat. That is good to know about Science World when I take the family to Vancouver some day. When I was in school in Washington State, my family took us to Vancouver a couple of times. I love Canada. I have also visited Montreal. In 2003, my husband and I went to visit Victoria via the Victoria Clipper and loved it.

    • cheatlierepeat profile image

      cheatlierepeat 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Great Hub! Here in Vancouver we have Science World and my entire family loves it. Cool experiments, fun exhibits and a wealth of information, how can you not like that?

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